In Search of a Winning Formula
Tuesday, January 31, 2023
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Editorial

In Search of a Winning Formula

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 16, 2023 10:55 pm
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Election fever has started gripping the Northeast as three states in the region are slated to go to polls in February. All political parties with presence in the region are now busy trying to find the winning formula. As usual, the first party off the blocks is the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), they have started sending party bigwigs to the election-bound states to garner popular support in order to further consolidate its phenomenal rise in the Northeast. In this context, the party is facing the toughest challenge in Tripura, where it came to power five years ago, ending the nearly three decades-old Left rule. In all possibility, the state is going to witness a very fierce contest as opposition parties have initiated efforts to form an alliance to make the task difficult for ruling BJP. The opposition leadership is optimistic about ending the BJP rule in the state by forming a coalition, they believe that the electoral arithmetic of the state will vastly favour such a tie-up. But it is not yet certain how the electorate will react to an alliance of two political parties with differing ideologies. A similar electoral understanding between the Congress and CPI (M) failed to deliver in West Bengal. On its part, BJP leadership is confident that the people of Tripura will not support such an opportunistic alliance and will give it a befitting reply at the hustings.

In Meghalaya, the poll scene may be dominated by renewed demands of enforcement of Inner Line Permit (ILP) and solving employment crisis. Both these issues have generated a considerable amount of heat in this hilly state in recent times as several organisations have already launched statewide agitation in support of their demands. Beyond a doubt, the political parties active in the state are now facing a serious challenge to formulate a stand about the twin issues as the poll outcome heavily hinges on effective handling of the demands. Other issues, which may come to the fore in the run up to the elections are inclusion of Khasi language in the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution and proper solution of Assam-Meghalaya border row. It will be interesting to see how the political parties handle emotive issues like ILP and language in their quest for an electoral victory.

While BJP and regional political parties like Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) and National People’s Party (NPP) are fighting hard to remain in power, parties like the Congress and CPI (M) are struggling for survival in the region after massive dents in their popularity due to wrong policies, infighting, etc. The effort to enter into an electoral understanding with the Left in Tripura is nothing but a last-ditch attempt by the two parties to influence the poll results in the state. But they are in no position to make their presence felt either in Nagaland or Meghalaya as both have been reduced to a shadow of their impressive past. Time is approaching for the public to make the crucial decisions that will define the next five years ahead.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Jan 16, 2023 10:55:42 pm